Of all the books I’ve read so far this year, The Woman in the Window had the most hype surrounding it, so I was very excited to finally read it.
What did she see?
It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.
But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?
The Woman in the Window is a thoroughly engaging read; the use of short sentences, and short chapters, created that “just one more chapter” feeling that had me flying through the pages! While there’s no denying this novel had me hooked, it is a slow burner. The mystery slowly builds, you spend the beginning of the novel slowly getting to know Anna and then the reveals start coming.
But, for me, more than the mystery, was Anna’s character – she was such an interesting character. Living in a drink and prescription drug filled haze, living with agoraphobia, you just wanted to understand her, what caused her to live this way? Why can she give advice to others struggling with agoraphobia but cannot take her own advice? What, or who, damaged her so much? In Anna’s world everything is hazy, so when she sees something outside her window, you can’t help but wonder if this is unreliable narration at play or if what Anna believes she saw really did happen.
“It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening.”
Certain parts of this novel were predictable, and some parts completely blindsided me, but either way, I didn’t care, I loved Finn’s fluid writing style, it made for easy reading. Such a simple writing style created this emotional pull, and I was sucked in. I loved the theme of Mental Health that ran through this entire novel. What Finn has done here, is build a vivid picture of one woman living with agoraphobia and weaved in a brilliant mystery. As for the psychological thrills, they’re subtle but emotionally charged and that’s what makes you invested in the plot and Anna’s character. I know, I’ll stay thinking about this one for a while.
If you enjoy a slow burner that falls into the psychological drama category, and love character-driven novels, I highly recommend you read The Woman in the Window.